We studied the rheumatic and various clinical manifestations of familial Mediterranean fever (FMF) in Lebanon. A retrospective review was performed of the medical records of 74 FMF patients seen at the American University of Beirut Medical Centre (AUB-MC) from 1979 to 1996. We also reviewed the medical literature from 1968 to 2000 using MEDLINE and the key words "familial Mediterranean fever" and "arthritis". Arthritis was the presenting symptom in 12 cases (16.2%). Twenty-three patients (31%) had definite arthritis during the course of the disease that was monoarticular in 16 (70%), oligoarticular in six (26%), and polyarticular (rheumatoid-like) in one (4%). Arthritis of the large joints of the knees and ankles was the most frequent articular involvement. The arthritis was transient, monoarticular, nonerosive, and nondeforming in the majority of cases. Four patients (5.4%) had chronic arthritis, with one requiring total hip replacement. As in previous reports on arthritis of FMF, the majority of FMF patients studied in Lebanon had a transient monoarticular nonerosive and nondeforming type of arthritis affecting predominantly the large joints of the lower extremities.
- Familial Mediterranean fever
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